This weekend I spent in the OR taking care of the “very sick and the extremely large”. I won’t go there. That’s another story. However, as I worked several of my coached athletes traveled to Memphis, TN and Kansas City, KS to do some racing.
Matt Carnal, Sean Stevens, and Doug Leib competed in the Memphis in May Triathlon in Millington, TN, a small town on the outskirts of Memphis with it’s claim to fame as the boyhood home of Justin Timberlake. Memphis may have Elvis but Millington’s got Sexyback. Anyway, this race is a high profile event that used to draw very fast people from all over the nation because of its Kona slots. Despite the current lack of Kona slots, it still draws some very fast competition. It’s a great race to match your fitness against some fast age groupers.
This race has a unique format. Everyone goes off one at a time in a time trial format. As you get older, you get pushed further to the back. I hate it because of the lack of open water in the swim; slower cyclists clog the bike course. You have to pay close attention to avoid collision but the run is good. I like to be able to pick targets and run for them. The other thing I hate is when you see someone in your age group you have to do some math in your head to figure out where they really are. Dana tells me “if you can do this kind of math in your head then you aren’t running hard enough. You need to be in Gooberville.”
Sean Stevens is a member of the Oklahoma based Tri-Mettle racing team. With the departure of Greg Rouault and Chuck Sloan taking a break from tris to pursue training for the Olympic trials, Tri-Mettle is looking for a new bad ass. Sean raced the amateur challenge. This includes a mountain bike Xterra Triathlon on Saturday and the Olympic distance race on Sunday. The best-combined time wins, and prize money is given to the top racers.
Sean was seventh overall and 2nd in his age group in the Xterra and placed 3rd in his age group with a 2:04 in the Olympic race. He was fifth overall in the amateur challenge. Sean is quickly on his way to achieving rock star status on his team.
Matt Carnal raced his first Olympic distance triathlon at Memphis. This former baseball player went 2:01 and placed 7th in the 25-29 age group. Not too bad for a first timer. Matt is focusing on longer events this year and Ironman Kentucky is in his sights .
Doug Leib’s goal this year was to qualify and race in age group nationals in Portland, OR. To do this he needed to place in the top 10% in an Olympic distance race. There were seventy-three competitors in his age group which meant Doug had to finish 7th. This was Doug’s first Olympic distance triathlon so he was a little on edge. He didn’t get off to a very good start and missed his swim start send off which put him at a disadvantage. He had a good bike ride but flatted about a mile from the finish. He handled it like a seasoned veteran and rode the rim on his rented race wheel into T2. He had a good run then waited at the finish line for the results to come up. When the results were posted Doug’s name was in the seventh spot in 2:20. He had done it. He met the standard to enter the Nationals. However, when he looked at the times a bit closer he had done it by only ONE SECOND! Way to go Doug!
Jessica Myers is a new transplant to Tulsa from Colorado Springs. She is a new mother of twins and a pro triathlete. I swim intervals with her in the pool occasionally. She rides sometimes with Dana when they can get their schedules to line up. In this race, she had no idea how she was going to do. I had a good idea she would do pretty well. Jessica finished second in the female pro division in Memphis.
Eric Lundt traveled to Kansas City and competed in the Heritage Park Triathlon in Kansas City. Eric finished 12th in his age group. He bettered his previous time, prior to the challenges of fatherhood, by three minutes! Eric is focusing on Buffalo Springs 70.3 this year.
My wife Dana is heading off to Brazil tomorrow to compete in Ironman Brazil. She will be taking my laptop and will be posting on “Robsworld” this week. I look forward to reading her thoughts and seeing Brazil so stay tuned. I will be spending my vacation taking care of the kids and living in “Danasworld“.